Disclaimer: These views are the unadulterated views of one fan gearing up for the NBA Finals. They're only opinion, and they're only one man's
"Oh, the history!" "Oh, the excitement!" "Oh the anticipation!"
Those are things that die hards don't say. For the die hard fan, this series is nearly as much about the Lakers losing as it is about the Celtics winning.
Hating the Lakers goes back generations. There are plenty of recent articles on the history of it all, so I won't bore you with that. Just understand that hating the Lakers is as much a part of being a Celtics fan as worshiping Larry Bird and Tommy Heinsohn.
So, with that in mind I give you a handy-dandy guide to the 2010 Los Angeles Lakers. Not about their game. Not about the way their season went. A guide to knowing just enough about each player to hate them. Embrace the hate, love the game, enjoy the series.
They Don't Play Much, So We Hate Them Less:
It is hard to find definitive reasons to hate DJ Mbenga. One, he seems like a nice guy. Two, he got into a scuffle with Chris Mihms in practice one day..and for some reason I like that. Three, he's from Belguim, and they make great waffles. Yes, his head is mis-shapen, and yes, he has ears like a freakish half Bat-Half-Human hybrid. Yes sometimes he roams the streets looking for Half-Mosquito-Half-Human hybrids to eat but usually just settles on the Cheescake Factory. But beyond that, likeable guy.
We don't hate Luke Walton because we so desperately love Bill Walton, and the fact that the curly haired one never really plays helps. I tell you what, as long as you don't see any significant game time or hit any timely 3's, we won't hate you.
First of all, Adam, I loved you when you played the lead guitarist of Stillwater in Almost Famous.
You know, hating Adam Morrison at this point is almost like taking the dead horse you used to beat, then shooting it in the head with a bazooka. But hey, if you want to play, I'm your huckleberry. That's just my game. Adam Morrison is trash because....
2) He was over hyped and once compared to Larry Bird if only for the reason that he was white and had particular kind of mustache.
3) His new NBA roster photo looks like the mugshot of methamphetamine dealer that was wearing a Lakers jersey at the time of apprehension.
Okay, I feel like I know my readers, and you guys want one more. One more?
4) Adam Morrison, is so petty and so disliked even by his own team, that he must steal high fives from opposing players.
Again, hating scrubs, like pimpin, ain't easy. I can hate me some stars, sure. I can hate me some rotation players...no problem. But hating me some Josh Powell? Well I can tell you one thing about him. He can't do choreographed omages to movie scenes. (Name the movie, bonus point)
He can crow, but can he fly? Yes. Yes he can. He can pull off some of the most amazing dunks you've ever seen, and make them look effortless. He's allegedly one of the few guys who will be able to check Rajon Rondo. If only we had a guy who was a better one trick pony than Shannon Brown. If only we had our own guard what was known more for his dunking ability than his actual play. Ladies and Gentlemen..I present to you the most under-estimated, unnoticed, completely disregarded storyline of THE NBA FINALS, 2010!!!: Shannon Brown and Nate Robinson Dunk Contest Rematch- This time, it's during a game.
They play a little more, so the hater is greater:
What is there to like about this too much talkin, not enough producing, fake twittering, short hair having, chicken gristle eatin', wishes he had Rondo's moves but instead he's stuck lookin at old Tyus Edney pro tapes (if he can find any, and even then, they'll be Celtics tapes), V8 juice drinkin, not quite starter material havin, UCLA attendin', not at all like Michael Jordan lookin, punk? Nothin. There ain't nothin to like about him. Nothin.
-Oh man, this guy might be the most hated person on the Lakers' team, beside the guy we'll talk about later. First of all, his hair. Check out this wanna be Fabio. If he had anymore grease in his hair, he'd be a fire hazard. Then, we got his infamous temper. "Oh he's European, that's just how they do things! Soccer!" gimme a break. This guy is such a prima donna he needed to start a fight with Goran Dragic just to get some face time last series. He was known as the "Goran Stopper". I mean, if your nickname is "the Goran Stopper", then you need a new nickname. In high school I was known as the "Amo Stopper". Do you know who Andy Amo is? No, you don't because it DOESN'T FREAKIN MATTER. (also I never actually had that nickname, he was way taller than me but just as clumsy so really nobody stopped or started anything).
Lamar 'Hollywood' Odom
You would think that a Celtics fan would have a serious hatred for Lamar Odom, possibly the most accurate representation of a Lakers stereotype. He's cocky, first of all. He thinks that on any given night he can get his 15 and 10 and just dominate a game. He's also talented. On any given night he could get 15 and 10 and dominate a game. That leads me to my next point; Lamar Odom is flaky. He isn't Derrick Coleman or anything, but his production is like a fart in the wind. It comes and goes. It seems to come and go on a whim. He is out of excuses for it too..he is too old to have the 'young man's inconsistency' like say a Rajon Rondo. He's too good too often to disappear, and he is completely and utterly unrepentant for it. It's not that there is a failure of remorse, there is seeming a failure of passion. In a lot of ways Lamar Odom epitomizes the 'blue collar versus flash' Celtics-Lakers (kind of forced) conflict. I don't have any witty rejoiners for Lamar Odom, because the truth is enough. Every game some (all) commentator will say "If Lamar Odom shows up tonight the Celtics are in trouble". And every game, they'll be right. That's reason enough to hate me some Lamar Odom..........
They're Starters. We hates thems the mostest.
Ugh. Derek Fisher. Gross. People make such a big deal about Kevin Garnett's percieved 'dirtiness', or Perkins 'thuggishness', Derek Fisher is a dirty player. He's old school dirty. He's punch you in the mouth because we're losing dirty, and if he was on the Celtics, I'd admire that. I'd admire that he's forgoing his social security check and his retirement benefits and his obvious dominance in somebody's Sunday afternoon over-40 league (I get it, he's not over 40. It's called hyperbole. Micheal Finley plays for the Celtics and I'm pretty sure he was born during the Spanish-American War.) to grace the NBA with his presence and wisdom, but since he's on the Lakers I hates him. I hate that he shoots 15% from the 3pt line then suddenly hits game winners. I hates that he can get burned REPEATEDLY by younger more athletic point guards but people will say things like "Derek Fisher looks to add Rajon Rondo to the list of point guards he sent home", like he played them in a game of 21 and won a grueling game by 2. Hate that guy.
Andrew 'Coulda Been ' Bynum
Oh, if Andrew Bynum's knees could talk, the stories they'd tell about 2008. "Stupid Lamar Odom" would be the first thing they'd say. Then they'd talk about how if only 'lefty' woulda got his stuff together the Lakers would be going for a three-peat right now instead of just back to back championships. They'd lament the fact that 'softness on the inside' was what held the Lakers back from winning in 2008, and he could've changed that if only 'Lefty' would have got with the program. And if the Lakers would've won in 2008, then maybe Kobe would love him.
That's why I hate Andrew Bynum. Andrew Bynum, according to the Lakers, was a fundamental reason the Celtics won the 2008 title. Sure, the Celtics defense was the best defense the NBA has seen in 20 years, but the reason why the Celtics won was because the Lakers lost and the Lakers lost is because Andrew Bynum wasn't there.
'Coulda Been' Bynum's knee got drained recently, and nobody knows how healthy he will be. I pray...pray that his knee is okay. Another thing I hate about the Lakers is that they are not at all against using excuses. Why give them ammunition?
Ron 'Crazy? Who Says I'm Crazy? I'm Like A Cat On A Train Baby! I'm Always Movin' But I Don't Bark On A Hot Tin Roof IfyouknowwhatImsayin!' Artest
Oh man, Ron Artest. Ron Artest to me like like one of those half moon cookies. Usually, I ignore the vanilla side, because the chocolate crazy side is just so awesome. That's the side that makes Craig Sager say "Queensbridge!!!" in a post game interview. I love that Ron Artest. The bat-poop crazy Artest that would scare me if I ever saw him in person because he's so unpredictable, but seen through a TV screen he is just absolute gold.
But then there is the vanilla side of the cookie. The Lakers side. The side that talks trash, and pulls down opposing players shorts (actually if you watch that video it is definitely in the awesome category. Watch the whole thing.) for kicks. The guy who thinks history doesn't matter, that the Celtics are just another opponent in his ring grabbing scheme. I know, Rasheed Wallace could have the same charges brought against him, but he doesn't talk like the Lakers are just the Grizzlies with a better record. Ron Artest somewhere along the lines thinks that the Celtics are just whatever team crawled out of the basement that is the Eastern Conference. Oh Ronnie, baby, you're wrong. You're so wrong.
Pau 'Soft Serve' Gasol
We're not those people. We know 'Soft Serve' Gasol for what he really is. He's weak in the post. He can be intimidated, he can be pushed around. He'll cry when he's frustrated and if he doesn't get his milk before bedtime he gets super f-wust-wated. Wictionary agrees. Pau Gasol is over-rated. I don't know what else there is that's worth hating him for. His googly eyes? His goofy hair? That is all secondary as long as people pretend that Kevin Garnett is not capable of stealing Gasol's lunch money and making him call his mom faking sick.
Kobe 'Bean' Bryant
I almost feel unqualified to write this part of the article. It is like summing up the bible in 200 words. Why do we hate Kobe Bryant so much? It begs the question 'How much time ya got?'
I guess I'm just gonna do my best, without taking any classless below the belt shots, because Celtics fans are better than that.
I hate Kobe because he is selfish. That is as simple as I can make this. Kobe is an amazing basketball talent. Those shots at the end of the Phoenix series....I thought to myself "Man, the Celtics have to beat THIS guy?"
But he's also an emotionally immature player, especially when the chips aren't rolling his way. He punked Alvin Gentry, and that wasn't very classy, but that's part of the game, and has been since Jordan. I can live with that. But watch what happens when Shannon Brown drives to the hole, looks off Kobe and turns the ball over. Watch what happens when Andrew Bynum gets blocked. If there is a stoppage in play, you will see the 'death stare'. It's the "I can't do this all by myself" stare. You don't see that from Garnett, you don't see that from any Celtic. Yes, they argue, but there is respect there. Respect that doesn't seem to shine through from LA. Maybe Garnett did make Baby cry on national TV, but Garnett also builds him up. He mentors him. Who has Kobe ever mentored? Maybe he's inspired millions of basketball fans, but he's never done what Kevin Garnett does on a daily basis for Perkins and Baby.
Frankly I wish the Celtics had a player of Kobe's talent. I'd feel better about our odds during the series. If you didn't catch that, I'm saying what everyone already knows. Kobe Bryant is hands down and away the best player in the series. Rondo has been amazing, but he's not on Kobe's level, not yet anyways.
Heck, an objective man would even argue that the Lakers have the two best players in the series. You could even argue (although I think with far less merit) that the Lakers have 3 of the top 5 players in the series. That's the truth.
But the truth is that in 2008 the Lakers had (arguably) the top two player in the series too. And that didn't turn out, because Kobe Bryant isn't half the leader Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen are. While Kobe is the best player on that team, and when he says something players say
'Sorry man! I'm sorry alright! I don't want to go in the 'Laker be good' hole!' 'How high?' But I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that Derek Fisher is the heart and soul of that lockerroom. And that's why I hate Kobe Bryant. He's cold like Alaska in December.